4. Thematic indicators on mainstreaming a good governance thematic approach to PLS

4. Thematic indicators on mainstreaming a good governance thematic approach to PLS
Parliamentary and legislative indicators for post-legislative scrutiny
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24 February 2022
Summary

This set of indicators aims to capture thematic issues which have been agreed upon by parliament and are embedded into PLS. Thematic indicators might encompass a broad array of issues such as equalities or gender issues, the environment and climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights, corruption, children’s rights, among several others. Without undermining the relevance and importance of other thematic indicators, this section will focus on gender, environment and climate change, as pilots.

1. Existence of thematic indicators on PLS

This indicator aims to capture the existence of thematic indicators in the PLS process. Reporting under this indicator should refer to thematic indicators that have been agreed and are used in law-making and PLS. For example, in some countries impact assessment of new legislation includes an assessment on Sustainable Development Goals targets. If thematic indicators are in place, reporting should cover:

1.1. Integration of thematic indicators in the law-making process and PLS

This indicator aims to capture the number and type of thematic indicators and the way in which they are integrated in the law-making and PLS process. Reporting would focus firstly on the type of thematic indicators e.g. equality, poverty, corruption etc, on whether these thematic indicators are provided for in law and the stages of the law-making process when they are considered, for example ex ante or both ex ante and ex post.

1.2. Parliamentary or official bodies with a related mandate

This indicator aims to capture the parliamentary or official bodies with a related mandate and the ways in which they are involved in the PLS process in relation to the thematic indicators. Examples are the Ombudsperson Institution, Anti-Corruption Agency, Children’s Rights Commissioner, etc.

 

1.3. Practices to ensure that the PLS process reports on the thematic indicators

This indicator aims to capture practices in place to ensure that the thematic indicators are part of the data collection, consultation and reporting process.

2. Gender related indicators

These indicators aim to capture the extent to which gender is included in the thematic indicators considered in the law-making process and PLS. Gender-sensitive legislation aims to improve the effectiveness of legislation and to pursue gender equality. Ex-ante gender sensitive scrutiny aims to advance gender parity in legislation and avoid unintended consequences or harmful impacts. Ex- post scrutiny aims to highlight positive or negative results and impact (intended or unintended) from a gender perspective and may correct imbalances.

2.1. Existence of requirements to scrutinise legislation from a gender perspective

This indicator aims to capture whether there is any policy, legislation, or other binding requirement to ensure that legislation is non-discriminatory and inclusive. Reporting under this indicator would cover whether legislation is informed by a gender impact assessment or by gender-specific questions in impact assessments, law-making guidance on the topic, policies that scrutinise legislation from a gender/inclusivity perspective etc. Reporting under this indicator would optimally capture the existence of such requirements for legislation but also the extent to which these are followed/respected in practice. 

2.2. Existence of parliamentary or official bodies with a mandate to monitor gender inequalities

This indicator aims to capture the bodies that monitor gender inequities such as specialised committees, women’s caucuses and commissions, and other relevant equality councils, etc. and the extent to which or the ways in which they are involved in PLS. This indicator captures the mandate and role of the parliamentary or official bodies, and the practice of their involvement in the PLS process.

 

2.3. Practices to make data collection gender-sensitive

This indicator aims to capture existing practices to ensure that the data collection processes and mechanisms are gender-sensitive. Reporting under this indicator could include a practice of ensuring that experts and witnesses are explicitly asked to report gender-related information or experiences, gender-relevant questions in the data collection instruments (questionnaires, interview guides, etc.) that gender impact is explicitly included in the call for evidence, gender balance among witnesses, involvement of gender experts or gender-equality organizations in PLS processes etc.

2.4. Practices to make the PLS process gender-sensitive

This indicator aims to capture practices that make the PLS process gender-sensitive. This includes for example practices where parliamentary committees have access to gender and equality experts that can ensure that a gender-responsive lens is integrated in the entire PLS process, findings and recommendations.

3. Indicators on the environment and climate

This section focuses on environmental challenges and impacts and the extent to which these are incorporated in PLS of laws even when not specifically environment- or climate-focused. A climate and environment “lens” can facilitate climate and environmental scrutiny to be considered as part of the work of almost all parliamentary committees, and not to be left solely to an environment committee. It is built on the ‘integration principle’.

3.1. Existence of requirements for an environment and climate-sensitive approach to legislation

This indicator aims to capture whether existing policy and law-making processes foresee mechanisms to mainstream environmental ex-ante impact assessments, review proposed policies and legislation likely to have a significant impact on the environment, which may form the basis for a post-legislative environmental impact assessment. Reporting can cover the existence of such mechanisms but also the extent to which the country refers to commitments or targets set by international, regional, or national regulatory agreements that stipulate mitigating or addressing climate impact, especially to ensure protections for front-line and marginalized communities.

3.2. Structures and processes of environmental oversight

This indicator aims to capture the extent to which Parliament has organized structures and processes to ensure that environmental oversight spans the entirety of its work, including through inter-committee communication and parliamentary staff cooperation aimed at environmental and climate mainstreaming in committees’ work. Reporting under this indicator should include bodies with a related mandate, related processes but also the extent to which MPs and parliamentary staff have been informed and/or consulted in the development of the national targets related to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and the strategy on adaptation, as well as of the national roadmaps envisaged to deliver these targets.

3.3. Practice of integrating environment and climate-sensitive approach to PLS

This indicator aims to capture the extent to which environmental impact is in fact included in PLS inquiries, in calls for evidence, in the questions used in data collection instruments (questionnaires, interview guides, etc.), that environmental agencies are called to provide evidence as part of PLS inquiries, that PLS reports include a section with environmental findings and recommendations, and links them to international environmental commitments and targets etc.